“Muthambi’s legal advisor had a history of improper conduct” - DA

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 29, 2015

Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister for Communications, Gavin Davis, has said the dismissal of an attorney, who acted as legal adviser to Communications Faith Muthambi in the removal of three senior South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board Members, could result in Parliament overturning its original findings and order their reinstatement.

Last month, members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) dismissed a legal opinion to have the removals of Rachel Kalidass, Hope Zinde and Ronnie Lubisi declare illegal, despite Parliament failing to identify a valid reason for their axing.

Speaking in statement, Davis stated that documents obtained from the Southern African Legal Information Institute (SAFLII), shows that Daniel Mantsha was sacked from the roll of attorneys in 2007, after a hearing found his conduct to be improper for a practicing attorney.

“The judgment paints a picture of an attorney whose career was blighted by a litany of misconduct, including unprofessional behaviour, dishonesty and misappropriation of funds,” Davis said, citing the report which found Mantsha had “acted in a dishonest and deceitful manner, provided information to a client even though he knew it was false, deliberately misstating the facts to an applicant and failing to act with the skill and care needed of a practitioner”.

“Mr Mantsha was at Minister Muthambi’s side when she appeared before the Communications Portfolio Committee on 22 June to overturn Parliament’s legal opinion that had found that the removal of three SABC Board Members was unlawful.

“Mr Mantsha’s testimony before the Committee failed to provide any compelling reasons to disregard Parliament’s legal opinion,” Davis said, adding that a statement from Lubisi to Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Joyce Moloi-Moropa, days later, also shows that Mantsha had lied to the committee after claiming that none of the members contested their dismissals.

“There are ample reasons for the Portfolio Committee to disregard Minister Muthambi’s legal advice and have the three SABC Board Members re-instated,” Davis concluded.